Jaques and Solanki sink Leicestershire
Worcestershire 172 for 4 beat Leicestershire 171 for 4 by six wickets
Phil Jaques gave Worcestershire a handsome leaving present by levering the Royals off the bottom of the Friends Provident t20 North Group with a six-wicket win against Leicestershire at New Road.
In his last appearance for the county, the Australian left hander made an unbeaten 78 from 48 balls and put on 94 with Vikram Solanki (51no) as the home side raced home with an over to spare.
A whirlwind 44 from Paul Nixon enabled Leicestershire to post a demanding total of 171 for 4 but this was not enough as Worcestershire recovered from losing Sanath Jayasuriya (19) and Moeen Ali (5) in the first six overs.
Solanki was first to light the fuse with two leg-side sixes off Leicestershire's hard-pressed attack and then Jaques introduced a subtle touch by reverse sweeping boundaries off the spinners.
The target was down to 32 from 20 balls when Solanki moved across his wicket and saw his leg stump flattened by Matthew Hoggard, but in the same over Jaques restored momentum by hoisting the Leicestershire captain for six.
Another maximum off Nathan Buck settled the issue as Jaques closed his boundary account with five fours and three sixes in his highest score in this season's competition. Leicestershire were given a strong start as Brad Hodge followed fellow-Australian David Hussey in becoming the second player to reach 3,000 runs in all Twenty20 competitions around the world.
The 35-year-old opener dominated the first half of he innings against a steady Worcestershire attack. James Taylor (14) featured in the biggest partnership of 51 before he was caught on the mid-wicket boundary
Hodge eventually accumulated six fours and a six from 38 balls but Leicestershire could have toppled off course when he was run out for 70. Chancing a second run after an initial fumble by Daryl Mitchell at deep cover, he was well beaten by an accurate return to wicketkeeper Ben Cox.
It was then that Nixon wrestled the initiative from the home side. In a systematic display of hitting, mostly on the leg side, the veteran left hander smashed seven fours and a six in taking 38 runs from the last 10 balls he received. The last two overs, bowled by Gareth Andrew and Jaysuriya, cost Worcestershire 39 runs but Jaques made sure this was not decisively damaging.